Thursday, July 5, 2012

Laboring Despite Weariness

Home of Lincoln at Gentryville, Indiana, from a Book Pub. 1896

I have often marvelled at the reserves of energy my tired husband seems to have.   He will drink coffee in the early evening so he can be awake to finish a few more chores.  I couldn't understand why he didn't just sleep and forget the extra work. 

In the last few weeks, I have been overly busy with my older children. I hosted a baby shower, had guests in my home at all times of the day, went to several events, did heavy shopping, and extra cleaning.  Somehow, I got stronger and learned to pace myself enough to get it all done.   I pushed aside distractions and wouldn't allow myself to be pulled away from the task at hand. 

My goal is to make the most of my time as a mother. (How long do I really have left?)  I want to make events special, and my home a happy haven.  This all takes a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes labor, which is seemingly unnoticed.    Lately, I have done this all cheerfully, and have been thrilled with my daily accomplishments.

I also noticed this working in other areas of our life.  I have daily Bible time with my teenage son (he is my last homeschool student).  John and I read two chapters at each reading.    However, sometimes life gets in the way, and our time is delayed.   Last night, it had gotten so late, I mentioned that perhaps we should read only one chapter?  He gave me such a look. Like I was a slacker (smiles). And said almost sternly, almost accusingly,  "Why can't we read two?"  I was grateful for his persistence and we read the required two chapters.  We were both proud of ourselves, realizing that if we had all day for other things, why on earth would we skip the daily religious disciplines?

My children watch Mr. White and I work hard on a daily basis. They see us quietly laboring without complaint.  They watch as we do difficult things despite weariness.  They also see us enjoy our rests and the fruit of our labor.  This example in life, and in religious duties, helps our children learn to work despite the hard times.  It teaches them to persevere, but to also come alongside and help us when we start failing. 

If I gave in to my "tiredness" and slept as much as I wish I could, what kind of life would I be portraying to those around me?    To work hard each day, and yes to earn my rest, is one of the best examples I can give to my children.

Mrs. White

The Warmth of Home - The Light in the Window.

Remembering - The Blessing of Being a Half-Southern Mama.

Let All Godly Homes be like - The Mission House.

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Katrinka said...

Before I became a homemaker, I worked hard for hours and hours a day in an ofice. I was very disciplined in all work areas of my life... up early showering and getting ready for work, then off to work and working diligently for many hours, then home and fixing supper, and on the weekend cleaning my whole little 3 bedroom house and cutting the grass in my little yard. I worked hard, but I was disciplined and my life was structured and I very much enjoyed my downtime.

When I married and became a homemaker, I seemed to just fall apart! :) When my time was my own to structure as I pleased, I wavered between feeling burdened down and overwhelmed to feeling guilty and a slacker. I came from good, hard-working pioneer parents and I knew this was not acceptable. But I just couldn't get my routine down.

Having a baby helped, but I had so little discipline outside of the structure of a working woman, that I would work hard one day and then be exhausted and lay around and read and nap and feel cranky and guilty the next day. I was deeply disturbed about my behavior, but seemed at a loss as to how to snap out of it!

Then came homeschooling! I am embarrassed to say, that were it not for the need to get up and school and have a routine I don't know where I'd be today! That was over 20 years ago, and I'm glad to say that I'm back to being a hardworking woman again. Now when I am forced to sit idle for some reason (illness, this tremendous heat wave) I can hardly bear it. But I deduced from my life experience that being a good homemaker requires tremendous self-discipline and direction and management skills that are often overlooked. Once I got myself in hand, I had to learn to run my home and my child and get up and get going with a plan each and every day. Now, today, my skills are even more important in caring for my husband.

God knows what we need and how to get us where we need to be to accomplish His chores for Him.

I like what you mention about Christian disciplines, Mrs. White. There is much talk about freedom and grace and throwing off religious legalism today, and some of that is good and needed. But there's still something to be said for accomplishing Christian duties REGARDLESS of how it may look to outsiders. We know what we need to do to stay right with God and, especially as mothers, we just need to do it because we NEED to meet with God regularly and we need our children to see us needing Him.

Thank you for the wonderful post and congratulations on your grandbaby!

Briana Jeffers said...

I have also noticed that I have to push myself a bit until I get used to doing more hard work and then my body gets used to it.

What a blessing to have your son want to read two chapters anyway!

Christine said...

Such a balancing act between being slow in God and yet keeping on task and keeping oneself busy. I like your posts here. Blessing on the rest of your week. =O)